Paragon Press – February 2015

THE NEW YOU FOR 2015: Essential information you and your health

Save your money: Skip the vitamins

The commercials make you think you aren’t as healthy as you could be unless you take them. However, study after study has shown no ability of vitamins to increase your lifespan, or decrease your chances of fighting a chronic disease. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins and other institutions, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet gives you all the nutrition you need. They discovered even more: taking certain supplements can increase your risk of death. Additional beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin A are considered useless and potentially dangerous. Even though you might be in the habit of taking that vitamin with your orange juice every morning, in light of this news, you’d be better off spending your money on more fruits and vegetables.

Switching to diet soda isn’t a guarantee for weight loss

Regular soda contains many empty calories: about 140 calories per 12oz can. People automatically think switching to diet soda, with virtually no calories per ounce, will make them lose weight. Did you know that new research shows overweight adults who drink diet sodas are likely to compensate by eating more food, thus resulting in no weight loss? A study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed obese/overweight adults drinking diet sodas consumed more calories at mealtimes and when snacking compared to obese/overweight adults who consumed sugary beverages. If you switch to diet soda for weight loss, you need to also eat less. It would be smart to look at other areas in the diet where empty calories are consumed, such as candies and gum, and adjust eating habits as well.

How healthy are those freeze-dried snacks?

Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are a trendy way to sneak in vitamins and minerals these days, but are they really that good for you? Technically, companies have just taken the only the water out of the food, but unfortunately, they sometimes add sugars to make them taste better. These hidden calories can add up in a day. Also, snackers might find some abdominal discomfort because of their concentrated fiber. It’s easy to eat 20 dried apple slices, but think about how much that would be if it wasn’t dehydrated. Despite these downsides, the dehydrated snacks are much better for you than candies and sugary snack bars. Eat with moderation.

More sleep, a better you in 2015?

We’re a nation of sleep cheaters, trying to get more out of the day. If you’ve made a promise to get more rest this year, here are some tips to get quality zzz’s.

  • Exercise-Moderately, three to four times a week. Research has shown exercise improves sleep.
  • Limit caffeine-Don’t drink caffeinated drinks after 4pm. Research shows they disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Relax-Make it a habit to relax one hour before bed. That includes shutting off electronics, such as televisions and computers. The light from these can delay your sleep onset.
  • Control light-Keep your bedroom cool and dark, using a sleep mask, if needed.

The following articles were referenced for this newsletter:

Pierre, C.(Ed.). (2014). Diet Soda’s Downside. Johns Hopkins Health Review, 1(1).

Pierre, C. (Ed.. (2014). Skip Those Vitamins. Johns Hopkins Health Review, 1(1).

Pierre, C. (Ed.). (2014). Before You Pack Those Freeze Dried Snacks… Johns Hopkins Health Review, 1(1).

Richards, S. (2014). Cheating Sleep. Johns Hopkins Health Review, 1(1).